Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cleaning Out

I've been doing some massive cleaning out and sorting the last couple days. Rearranged out bedroom to make room for our Lazy-Boy ... giving me a little quiet nook to nurse and relax down the road. As I was cleaning off the shelf in my closet, I found this box of old journals and went through them. Some went into the trash (the ones that I wrote in for maybe two-three days) and the rest are on a shelf. I'm going to slowly scan them in to my computer and then we'll see what I end up doing with that.

Anyway, I found my very first journal...

My first diary

My first diary

Travis got a chuckle out of some of these early entries!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - January 29


Done early, thankyouverymuch! :-) We needed to do some grocery shopping on Saturday for N2's 1st birthday luncheon with the grandparents and family on Sunday, so I needed to go ahead and plan for the coming week. It feels so good to have this done! :-) There are several new meals on here this time round. I purchased from Saving Dinner two of their Freezer Meal menu mailers to try out. I've not had much success with preparing meals that would freeze well and I want to test out several before baby #3 comes. (I purchased Five for the Freezer Chicken Recipes, Vol 1 and Mega Menu Mailer Vol. 1, which is 22 varied recipes).

Monday: Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti (making one 9x13 and one 8x8 pan so I can take a meal to a friend); bag salad

Tuesday: Son of Manic Meatloaf from Saving Dinner, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: BBQ Crockpot Chicken from Saving Dinner, with rice, carrots and peas

Thursday: Cowboy Chow from Busy Cooks Lowfat Cookbook, salad

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Either breakfast dinner or clean-out-the-fridge night

Sunday: Lunch will probably be soup and sandwiches in anticipation of dinner treats while we watch the Superbowl! Snacks that I'm planning to make that this point are personal pizzas on English muffins, party pinwheels, veggies and dip, and chips and dip.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Week in Review

  • A fairly normal week around here.
  • No one was sick this week. Woot!
  • We had a few crazy, busy days.
  • Like Wednesday ... I have a women's Bible study in the morning, N1 has her little gym class at 1:15, and then Awana in the evening.
  • But that only lasts one more week and then her gym class is DONE!
  • Which I'm a little sad about because she has enjoyed it so much.
  • But not sad enough to re-enroll her ... we need a break before the baby arrives.
  • Debs asked me why we are naming the baby "Elizabeth."
  • Several reasons. We seem to lean towards and prefer girl names that are girl names. I prefer not to have someone hear my baby's name and wonder, hmmm, is that a boy or a girl? And we lean towards names that are a little more old fashion, as you can probably guess with the real names for N1 & N2.
  • Not that there aren't some trendier names that I don't love. Like Quincy. I think that name would be soooo cute for a little girl.
  • But then, I also just think the letter "Q" is cool.
  • I've had a busy week for my Punkin' Press business.
  • Two sets of notecards (here and here) and one set of baby announcements went out this week.
  • And, I've been asked to do the rehearsal dinner invites for a friends' upcoming nuptials. :-) That's just fun to say.
  • This next week is going to be BUSY.
  • Today we are doing some grocery shopping (not my favorite thing for a Saturday, but oh well).
  • Sunday, we are having our family celebration for N2's 1st birthday!
  • Monday, looks to be fairly normal although I need to do some baking for the week.
  • Tuesday, N2's birthday, 1 yr. dr. appointment and recheck for both girls from their ear infections.
  • Wednesday, CRAZY DAY. Bible study, last gym class, and Awana.
  • Thursday, normal other than I'm on music team this week so Grandma will come over and watch the girls for a few hours in the evening.
  • Friday & Saturday, NOTHING. Yea!
  • Off to get cleaned up and dressed for our day!
  • Happy Saturday y'all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Enter to Win!

Smockity Frocks is holding an apron give-away contest! I've been wishing for an apron for a while now, so if I don't win, I may just have to break down and buy one. :) Check out this adorable strawberry and gingham one!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Homemaking Meme

Found at Enjoy the Journey, created by Sallie at A Gracious Home:

Aprons – Y/N?
No, but I really want one. I can't cook or wash dishes without wearing food, or becoming COMPLETELY soaked with water.

Baking – Favorite thing to bake:
I love making pancakes and biscuits for the girls, and chocolate chip cookies, of course. :)

Clothesline – Y/N?
No yet. I figured out where I want to put one in the backyard - I would love to be able to hang diapers out for some fresh air!

Donuts – Have you ever made them?
Not tried those yet ... but I'm a pretty Dunkin' Donuts fan. It would take a LOT to top their donuts.

Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day:
Wash dishes and pick up toys.

Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
YES! I love it! Travis gave it to me for Christmas last year, right before we had N2. It has been so great to have as we stockpiled a little right before her arrival.

Garbage Disposal – Y/N?
No.

Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?
So many...

Ironing – Love it or hate it?
I don't mind it, but I don't have to do it very often. Only when Travis needs a work shirt pressed, or I want to get rid of some wrinkles in one of the girls' dresses.

Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?
I don't really have one now that I think of it, unless it is the center/middle drawer of my desk.


Kitchen: Design & Decorating?
The kitchen is very small and out-dated. It's was painted entirely in white so I've been trying to add a little color slowly. As I replace appliances, I usually pick black (we now have a black coffee maker and toaster), and when I need to buy some accessory (like measuring cups, spatulas, baskets) I go for red. Red seems to have become the prevailing accent throughout the house which I like.

Love – What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Being home with the girls, doing laundry, playing, making dinner, having so many days where we never have to leave the house ... way to many things to pick just one.


Mop – Y/N?
Not often, but yes.

Nylons – Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
Don't wear them ... I can't remember the last pair of nylons I bought. If I wear anything, it's tights.

Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check?
Light ... because usually when I check there is a little person or two standing there by me and I would rather them NOT fall into the oven when it's on.

Pizza – What do you put on yours?
Normally, cheese and pepperoni. Occasionally, ham and pineapple. If I'm really lucky, I'll make me a veggie one with onions, broccoli, olives, etc.

Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Usually work on my church job, check emails. Sometimes read, but then I usually just fall asleep. :)

Recipe card box – Y/N?
No - all my recipes are stored on the computer, and I'm working on making a recipe/scrapbook of some of our family favorites.

Style of house –
Um, small? It's just a regular old house, 2 bedrooms, one bath.

Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N?
No tablecloths ... too many little fingers that might pull it off, but we do use cloth napkins. Love that.

Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland?
Totally organized, thanks to my husband.

Vacuum – How many times per week?
Daily, sometimes 2-3 times a day in the summer with the dogs are shedding. It completely grosses me out to have babies on the floor with dog hair. Can.Not.Handle.It.

Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
At least one load per day, and 3-4 days, I do two loads a day.

X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
YES!

Yard – Y/N? Who does what?
Travis does all of it. I have a black thumb when it comes to plants and, plus, I've been pregnant the last few years so mowing the grass in the summer hasn't really been an option.

Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Dishes at night, usually fixing Travis an evening snack of some kind.

What Kind of Cookie Am I?

You Are an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
On the surface, you're a little plain - but you have many subtle dimensions to your personality.
Sometimes you're down to earth and crunchy. Other times, you're sweet and a little gooey.
What Kind of Cookie Are You?

Thanks to Lauren for the tag! (And I have some questions to answer from Debs, will get to those soon!)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mush

My brain that is. I believe I'm entering into that fog known as the 3rd trimester. My dr. warned me that I would really feel the exhaustion this time since #2 and #3 are so close together. She may be on to something.

That said, I've no energy to come up with anything interesting or exciting. So, the scary part, if you have a question, throw it out. I know I have one meme on here saved back that I still need to do from a tag that Lauren hit me with, but other than that ... nada.

Now, we see what happens. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Slow Cooker Thursday - Corn Chowder


6 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
2 packages (10 ounce each) frozen whole kernel corn, broken apart
1 can (16 ounce) cream style corn
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water
Couple of drops of hot sauce (optional)
My own variation: Add 1-2 cans evaporated milk at the end before serving


In skillet, fry bacon until crisp; remove & reserve. Add onion andpotatoes to bacon drippings and sauté for about 5 minutes; drain well. Combine all ingredients in Crock Pot; stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 - 7 hours.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Journal Your Christmas - the last post

Day 33:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 33

Hmmm, I don't think all the picture scanned in. Oops.

Day 34:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 34

Day 35:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 35

Day 36:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 36

Menu Plan Monday, I mean Tuesday

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here's my menu for the week ... a day late.

Monday: BBQ keilbasa, corn, salad
Tuesday: spaghetti and garlic bread
Wednesday: Corn Chowder Soup (crockpot)
Thursday: burritos, salad
Friday: Pizza night
Saturday: Breakfast dinner
Sunday:

Head on over to Org Junkie for more (timely) menu plans for this week! :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Let's see...

In the past 4 weeks we've...

  • been to Ohio and back for Christmas
  • kept my neice and nephew for a whole week
  • had Christmas with my side of the family
  • celebrated my birthday with my side of the family
  • started a Bible reading plan for 2007
  • kept my nephew (and my neice for 1 day) of another whole week
  • met Blest and her family for dinner one night
  • potty-trained N1!
  • had a church wedding in which Travis played classical guitar and practiced an insane amount
  • had sick, sick, sick girls all of this week so we've been home a LOT. Lots of cuddling, naps (for all), little videos, juice and toast 'round these parts.
  • had Mama catch germs from said sick girls
  • had a 2nd ultrasound for baby #3
  • played catch-up on work for my church job from the Christmas "break"
  • designed invitations for a 13-year old's birthday party
  • created the Punkin' Press blog so I have a place to put samples of my invitations and cards

I've had intentions of writing a bit about my goals and plans for 2007, but the time just hasn't come. I've also realized that this little list does show what my plans are for 2007 ... to "be."

As inspired by the Ali Edwards' challenge for last week, I've picked a word that I'm going to think about and ponder this year. I instantly knew what word I would pick: be. I recently read the following quote from Jim Elliot and it pretty much sums up my thoughts for the next 12 months:

Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every
situation you believe to be the will of God.

The will of God, as set forth in so many verses, gives me my priorities for me: God, my husband, my girls ... then ministry and such outside the home. This year will see me a little more focused inward towards God and my family ... purposefully making them the priorities that they are to be. And, in turn, that's where I'll be ... 100% of me ... which is more than I've been giving.

Yet another ...

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Today is good day to wear my hair up!

How much cash do you have on you?
Zip. Zilch. Nada.

What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Floor

Do you label yourself?
Yes.

Bright or Dark Room?
Depends on what I'm doing ... during the day I like the blinds up and lots of sun; at night, it's fine to have a little less light.


Why is there always a missing question?
Huh?

What does your watch look like?
Purple, digital, with a velcro strap from Target. I can wear it while washing dishes, bathing babies, and it has a light so I can read it at night when little people get me out of bed.

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping, or just about to...

Where is your nearest 7-11?
Do we even have those here?

What’s a word that you say a lot?
"Come here."

Who told you he/she loved you last?
I think Noelle.

Last furry thing you touched?
Probably one of the dogs.

How many rolls of film do you need developed?
None that I know of ... we've been digital here 3 years or so.

Favorite age you have been so far?
30 was pretty good, as was 31.

Your worst enemy?
Myself, also known as my own distorted view of reality, my imagination.

What is your current desktop picture?
A graphic from American Crafts scrapbooking.

What was the last thing you said to someone?
Bye to my Dad on the phone.

The last song you listened to?
Beautiful Savior by Casting Crowns ... I'm singing back-up vocals for someone in a couple weeks at church on that one.

What time of day were you born?
12:50 p.m.

What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Just walk away I guess ... I don't know that I can remember the last time that happened. Or the last time that I used a vending machine!

Do you consider yourself kind?
Sometimes.

What’s your life motto?
Psalm 52.8-9

Name three things you have on you at all times.
My wedding ring, watch, and earrings.

Can you change the oil on a car?
No.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Last week ... I mailed a VERY late baby gift to a friend and wrote a letter to put with it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - Weight Loss

It's been a while since I've posted a WFMW, but when the call came out for good dieting tips and strategies, I knew I wanted to play. When I've not been pregnant (which actually hasn't been very often in the last few years), I've been an avid supporter of Weight Watchers and their plan and it's worked for me very successfully. Below are a couple of low-point sweet treats that I've enjoyed and can attest to being good!

2 Point Shake

1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons fat-free, sugar-free pudding mix - any flavor
1 tablespoon fat-free Cool Whip
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ice cubes

Put all into a blender and process until smooth and thick. Makes a big glass-full. If you want it a little creamier, less icy, add another couple tablespoons of Cool Whip. That will get you a more shake-like consistency.

Weight Watcher Brownies

2 T. low fat brownie mix (I recommend No Pudge Brownies, VERY good)
1 T. yogurt (any kind, although I generally stick to fat-free vanilla)

Mix in a small cup and microwave 1 minute. You can top with fat-free Cool Whip if you choose. The beauty of this - it is 1 POINT!! When I would make these, I would generally double for a 2 point brownies snack and it's a pretty good sized brownie that way.

For more great WFMW dieting strategies head on over to Shannon's!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Journal Your Christmas, More Pages

Look closely and you might find the first name for our new baby hidden in here somewhere! :)

Day 18:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 18

Day 19:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 19

Day 23:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 23

Day 24:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 24

Day 26:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 26

Day 31:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 31

Day 32:

Journal Your Christmas - Day 32

Big Stuff with a Capital "B"!

What happened to my little girls!? They are changing like crazy ... maybe they know that Mama is going to have her hands full with three of them and they are doing their best to help me out. I don't know, there sure are lots of changes happening around here.

  • N1 is potty-trained. Seriously. And pretty much did it all by herself. Last Friday, she started wanting to go to the bathroom and using the potty and we thought, Okay, we can do this. It continued on Saturday for a good part of the day. We lost momentum on Sunday because of church and spending the day at my parents, but on Tuesday (I think) of this week, she was back to going to the potty consistently. We've averaged about one accident a day, and she usually stops herself and RUNS to the bathroom when it happens. (Going #2 is a different story, but after two accidents of that, she caught herself and tried to make it to the bathroom). Yesterday, I told her that now that she was going in the potty so good, that we weren't going to wear diapers anymore unless she was going to bed or taking a nap and we've stuck with it. Tonight, we ran our first bunch of errands in panties - the bank, the library, the church, and out to dinner and NO ACCIDENTS! Pretty big stuff.
  • N2 is starting to seriously consider walking. She has taken two steps on her own today and is pretty impressed with herself. I think she's just realized that she can reach more stuff when she's standing than from the floor.
  • And she has a couple of words. She can say, "Yea!" when she claps her hands. And, she says "mama" all the time. On "mama", I would say I'm 85% sure that she's talking about me ... I'm not ready to commit to the full 100% yet. But I'm close. :)

    So many changes this week. I can hardly stand it. :)
  • Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Slow Cooker Thursday


    I mentioned this recipe last week I think in this food meme that I did. Nancy requested it, and I'm just now getting around to putting it up for her - sorry Nancy! I forgot! :) This is one of my FAVORITE crock recipes.

    Easy Beef Tips

    2 lbs. lean chuck roast, cut in to 1" pieces (I usually use stew meat to save cutting it up)
    1 env. dry onion soup mix
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 cup 7up or similar (you can use any time of pop as long as it's NOT diet. You need the sugar to break down the meat. You could even use apple juice, which I've done before in a pinch.)

    Place meat in crockpot. Do not season. Pour mushroom soup over meat and sprinkle onion soup mix on top. Add 7up. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over noodles or rice. Freeze cooled beef tips in large freezer bag. Thaw and reheat.

    Head over to Diary of a Stay-at-Home-Mom for more great CP recipes!

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Happy New Year

    Happy New Year! We've finally finished making the rounds of Christmas with both sides of the family and are trying to get back into a post-holiday routine of sorts. We had a good time in Ohio with Travis' family over Christmas and then celebrate with my side over New Year's weekend. The girls will be under the impression that Christmas is a two-week event I'm afraid!

    A few pictures from the last two weeks ...

    Christmas with my family

    Natalie and my Dad
    N2 with my Dad.

    The Girls

    Christmas Presents!
    This is N2 freaking out over her new train ... I think it may be my favorite picture from this year! :)

    Natalie & Grandma Fagan
    N2 with Travis' mom.

    Slowly trying to get back into my Mama-groove around here. :) I've been thinking and pondering on some changes I want to make for 2007 ... resolutions if you will ... and can hopefully get around to writing those down before it's February.

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Bloggy Meeting

    Guess who I had dinner with tonight?!

    Blogger Meeting

    Ms. Blest of Blest with Sons herself! We had a BLAST w/ Blest & Co. Her boys were adorable and perfect gentlemen … by the end of the evening her #2 son (I believe it was him) even had my stand-off-ish #1 daughter giggling - a minor miracle. And, come to think of it, I don’t know that I ever spoke to her husband … Blest and I were way to busy comparing c-section stories, thoughts on church music, and everything else under the sun! So, so much fun … definitely a kindred spirit as well as a wonderful sister in the Lord. (And she brought me a necklace! Woot!)

    Good times.

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Menu Plan Monday


    Getting back on the bandwagon with Menu Plan Monday ... it helps me so much to have a game plan for the week!
    Monday - Leftovers from yesterday's birthday dinner (steak, baked sweet potatoes, salad)
    Tuesday - Mexican Chicken Chowder
    Wednesday - Monterey Chicken (soooo good!), broccoli parmesan
    Thursday - Crockpot Thai Beef over rice, salad
    Friday - Pizza (I think, Travis may have a wedding rehearsal that night and if that's the case, then I may make something else for just me and the girls)
    Saturday - Baked mac and cheese (something easy as we'll be at a wedding in the evening)
    Sunday - Grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, tomato soup (lunch); dinner will be leftovers or cereal
    Head on over to Organizing Junkie for more menu inspiration!